Scroll Saw vs. Jigsaw

Although both scroll saws and jigsaws are optimum for plunge cuts and curvatures, they have prominent distinguishing factors. Learn all about both the tools to understand how they differ and which one is more appropriate to fit your needs.

A scroll saw is a small table saw that consists of a thin blade and it is used to make thin and precise cuts in various materials such as wood, metal, etc. It either makes use of electricity for operation or pedals. The fine finish of its blade allows it to make more detailed cuts than jigsaws.

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Jigsaws, also known as bayonet saw or saber saw, on the other hand, are used for the same purpose but these power tools leave behind rough and ragged edges. A jigsaw consists of a reciprocating saw blade and an electric motor and ordinarily allows cutting angles of up to 45 degrees.

Now that you know the basics, let’s take a closer look at some important factors that make these saw unique and distinctive.

How Does a Scroll Saw Work?

Scroll saws have a flat table or a private stand of its own where you can place your desired material for sawing. The table has an arm extending over it and also a tip that connects the blade of the saw, a hole in the worktable where the saw blade is attached to the electric motor inside the worktable, and a base that is also known as the throat of the scroll saw.

The throat of professional scroll saws is usually of 12-30 inches whereas a saw with a 16-inch throat is used for home-use.

To use it, simply start by drilling a hole in the central portion of the material that you need to cut, and then insert the saw blade in it. Now connect the blade back to the saw, adjust the tension accordingly, and you’re ready to go. A plunge lets you make a curved, circular cut in the center of a material without damaging any other areas.

However, with scroll saws, its throat size limits the length of the material that you can cut. Along with the length, there’s also width restriction. Blades of a scroll saw are most effective in cutting materials whose thickness is under an inch, especially when the designs are curved and detailed.

How Does a Jigsaw Work?

Jigsaws are handheld tools that are quite similar to scroll saws but do not provide quite the same results. They are not very suitable tools for achieving fine details and sharp cuts. But they are ultra-portable and if you desire to go completely cordless, you can also opt for some battery-powered options that are available.

Sometimes it is difficult to move large pieces of materials when the tool is being powered but with jigsaws, you can simply move the tool to the material.

They have a narrow blade that is connected to the saw and goes up and down. A wide foot guides the movement of the blade, which suspends from the uppermost portion of the saw through the middle of the foot.

They are also capable of making plunge cuts, and it is relatively easier to do so as there is no need for adjustments or removal of the blade. You can simply drill a hole in the desired object and place the lower portion directly into the pre-drilled hole.

Jigsaws are versatile tools. With the appropriate blade, they cut through various materials like metal, PVC, wood, and even drywall. The length of the blade you choose is up to you. Just make sure the length isn’t too long that it sticks out from the bottom. Unlike scroll saws, jigsaws do not have any length and width restrictions.

Pros and Cons of a Scroll Saw

Following are some pros and cons of a scroll saw:

Suitable for Complex Cutting

A scroll saw allows you to make complex, and extremely delicate cuts. For instance, if you desire to create a wooden jigsaw puzzle, then this tool is the right choice for you as it lets you make smooth 90-degree angle cuts and lets you be creative and artistic.

Doesn’t Make Much Noise

Although it is valid to say that finding power tools that do not make any noise is a next to the impossible task but as compared to other noisy tools, scroll saws are very quite. They do not produce much noise and their movement is as quiet as it can get.

Great for Crafts and Artistry Projects

Scroll saws can make curved cuts that are accurate and do not leave any rough and ragged edges behind. This makes them great for crafts and artistry projects. You can create stenciled frames and all kinds of wooden puzzles that you desire with accuracy and ease.

Not Capable of Cutting Thick and Hard Objects

Although these saws are great for craftwork and making creative decorative pieces, they are not great to be used as regular woodworking tools. The thin blade they use isn’t capable of cutting through hard and thick materials.

Covers a Significant Amount of Space

Unlike jigsaws, scroll saws are quite large. They are stationary power saws and take up a lot of space in your workspace.

Pros and Cons of a Jigsaw

Following are some pros and cons of a jigsaw:

Extremely Versatile

One thing that you look for in a good power tool is its versatility to perform. While purchasing a tool, you aren’t sure of the variety of objects you’ll need to work on. Jigsaws can be used to cut anything and almost everything. Along with basic materials like wood and plastic, you can also cut metals, plastics, PVC, etc. effectively with jigsaws.

Lightweight and Portable

Typically jigsaws weigh from 1.5 to 2.5kgs and do not require a significant amount of area for its storage in your workspace. They are highly portable, and there are also multiple battery-powered options available in the market that eliminates the limitation of working in areas with sockets.

Can Be Used for Home Improvement and Woodworking

Because of their versatility and their ability to cut different materials, they can be used as a tool for craft-making at home, general home improvement purposes, and woodworking.

Non-Accurate Cuts

The only and the most important con of a jigsaw is that their cuts are not as precise as of the scroll saws. You cannot expect these power tools to provide your objects with smooth, sharp, and accurate cuts.

Which tool is right for you? The answer to this query depends on the type of project you’re planning to execute. It is best to have both the machines on hand and surely you’ll find countless projects to work on with these saws!

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